After I gave birth to my lovely baby boy, I was in the same situation as every woman. I had to rebuild my core. As a yoga teacher, I’m even more aware of the importance of a strong core. And we’re not talking about the awesome six-pack I was always too lazy to achieve in any case.
I’m talking about a healthy, strong inner core.
Women should not practice "the usual" core exercises for around six weeks after giving birth. I did some research and look what I found!
Hypopressive Exercises, also called Low Pressure Exercises, are well known in Spain but unfortunately not so in the rest of the world. And, best of all, they’re based on Uddiyana Bandha Kriya, a yoga technique that’s hundreds of years old.
I’m so excited to see an ancient, powerful yoga technique revived and updated for our modern world so it can be shared with everyone.
What is Uddiyana Bandha Kriya and what’s the connection with Hypopressive Exercises?
Uddiyana Bandha Kriya is often treated as an advanced purifying technique (Kriya). I only practiced it for the first time in a teacher training. But it’s so beneficial that I believe it should be shared with ‘normal’ people, not just yoga teachers.
The Uddiyana Bandha Kriya and the Hypopressives lead you through several postures ( In the Kriya practice it´s just one , sometimes two) and breathing exercises, especially emptying your lungs completely and holding your breath to activate your diaphragm, lift the pelvic floor and strengthen your core.
Which is also great for swimmers, free divers etc..
The Hypopressive Exercises, based on this Kriya practice, were developed in the late 1970s by Dr. Marcel Caufriez for therapeutic reasons first of all. He intended them to prevent or recover from pelvic floor dysfunction such as incontinence and prolapse.
They became soon a fitness program beyond clinical setting for both men and women.
As an extra benefit they also reduce the size of the waist and improve the volume of the thoracic box or chest. This made them popular with bodybuilders including, it’s claimed, Arnold Schwarzenegger. But, of course, this could just be smart marketing!?
· Strengthens abdominal muscles and diaphragm
· Massages inner organs
· Improves digestion (assimilation, elimination, purifies digestive track)· Stimulates blood circulation in the abdomen and blood flow to the brain
· Decreasing back pain as they improve back posture thus helping to prevent back pain
· Reducing the waistline
· Improving sexual function (performance, sensitivity and pleasure)
· Treating and preventing urinary incontinence
· Treats and prevents Pelvic Organ Prolapse
· Helps women both pre and post childbirth
· Improving respiratory function
· Stimulates and lifts the energy of the lower belly (apana vayu), to unite it with the energies localized in the navel (samana vayu) and heart (prana vayu)
· Enhancing athletic performance: As a breathing exercise it improves cardio respiratory fitness, as it increases the production of hemoglobin and the level of hematocrit.
Krishnamacharya doing Uddiyana
I taught these Hypopressives, let´s call them the the modern form of Uddiyana Bandha Kriya, throughout July and August in my classes and had really positive feedback. I’ve also been practicing them myself, of course, and I can definitely feel the benefits.
I’d so love to share the benefits with you in one of my public classes or you could book me for a private.